• Strangely familiar: Simon's Cat

    A very nicely done hand-drawn animation about a typically determined cat and its owner has been online for quite some time now:

    Now, there's the long awaited sequel:

    I'm sure that there's not one cat owner on this world that doesn't relate to these amusing, not enormously exaggerated ;-) clips!

  • New printer: HP Deskjet 6980

    I've been using Laser printers for many years because of the amount of paper I had to process for training manuals and other many-page documents. My current one, a Lexmark Optra T522dn, started printing with deteriorating quality some weeks ago. Because parts of the page that are already printed reappear a bit down the page, I guess it's some central unit that needs repair. The problem is that those parts usually cost more than a new printer.

    That's why I went out (on Amazon, that is) and bought a HP Deskjet 6980. It seems to work okay with both Mac and Linux, has duplex functionality and not only a LAN connector, but can even be accessed via WiFi. I just don't need a big honking laser printer any more since if I have to print high volume (which now happens quite rarely), I do it through services like lulu.com.

    The advantages I've found so far are:

    • I don't have to put it at my feet under my desk. I nicely fits into my book shelf.
    • I just need a power socket nearby, because after the initial WiFi configuration, the printer doesn't need a LAN cable any more.
    • Printing noise has gone way down, and the room doesn't smell of ozone afterwards any more.
    • I now can print in colour. I won't use it for photo printing, though, because a photo lab will beat its quality any time.

    I haven't used the device enough to find its disadvantages, so I'll post them when they rear their ugly head.

  • The road to mediocrity

    If you wonder how that noob that just had your instance group wipe once again could get to 70 at all, it may be because you and others ran them through many prior instances. In their "Officers' Quarters" column, WOW Insider posted the article The road to mediocrity which I agree with very much.

    I always resisted the temptation of getting a boost from a high-level, even during the time I was supposed to get my character quickly to my group's common level. Not only did I find it boring running through an instance after an level 70 clearing the way, I also knew that I'd later need that experience from all those various encounters. Why should I pay my monthly fee while missing all that gameplay on purpose?

    So, I wholeheartedly second the suggestion the WoW Insider article gives to guilds: don't take away the opportunities of learning from your low levels by running them through instances.

  • Right from the book

    cbgreenwood passed the meme on to me by asking me to cite the book I'm reading at the moment, exactly from page 123, three sentences from the fifth one on.

    Let's see... Well, what a coincidence! I'm on page 123 right now! The book is "Mindset -- The new psychology of success" from Carol S. Dweck. She's a psychologist and writes about the difference between the "fixed mindset" that sees success as god-given and the "growth mindset" for which success comes from continuous effort. Here's the desired part:

    Iacocca played painful games with his executives to keep them off balance. Jerry Levin of Time Warner was likened by his colleagues to the brutal roman emperor Caligula. Sklling was known for his harsh ridicule of those less intelligent than he.

    I guess they'll not be in my list of executive role models. :-)

    Interesting what this meme brings forward! I'll pass it on to my precious, Kai and Tom. What are you reading, folks?

  • Linux still isn't there yet

    Or is it?